A current poll on sharing product information with trading partners running on this blog has this question: As a manufacturer: What is Your Toughest Product Information Sharing Issue?
The most votes in the current standing has gone to this answer:
We must first mature in handling our product information internally
Solving this issue is one of the things we do at Liliendahl.com. Besides being an advisory service in the Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) space, we have a developing collaboration with companies providing consultancy, cleansing and, when you come to that step, specialized technology for inhouse MDM and PIM. Take a look at Our Business Ecosystem.
If you are a manufacturer with a limited need for scaling the PIM technology part and already have much of your needs covered by an ERP and/or Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution, you may also fulfill your inhouse PIM capabilities and the external sharing needs in one go by joining Product Data Lake.
I concur with your findings. However, I think that mid-level manufacturers are still intimidated by the technology and unknown cost of making the necessary commitment. I just think there has to be some intermediate steps that will enable them to take smaller bites.